The desired new CEO profile for the Fitness Brands Nordic Group
Background information relevant for the assignment
The Fitness Brands Nordic Group is a newly formed group founded by two entrepreneurs whom are both experienced and locally successful in the Swedish respective the Norwegian health and fitness markets. Per Andersson has been active in the Swedish market and Trond Karlsen in the Norwegian market.
Both national companies have based their businesses on been the local representatives for international brands such as Life Fitness. The focus has been on the high end of the professional B2B market supplying companies with advice on how to set up, equip and run gyms and other health/fitness related operations.
The total market for health and fitness is expected to continue to grow in the years to come and there are signs that the market will need to consolidate. The latter is already taking place at the producer of products end of the market.
The two entrepreneurs have decided to join forces and aim to build the leading Nordic health and fitness company. The objectives include developing the business by widening the scope of the companies offer, broaden the customer base to include B2C and move into new geographical areas with the Nordic region as their 1st priority.
We have just acquired an entrepreneur driven Norwegian E-trade-operation with a successful web-shop – Sportsmaster.no. The owners of this web-based operation will continue both as owners and as key players in our organisation. With this newly acquired company, the group will reach a turnover of + 200 MSEK and the tools to further growth.
The joint ambitions add up to an ambitious plan for the coming years that involves growth within the existing business segments and other avenues such as possible new business areas and partnerships.
The new strategy puts new demands on the management and running of the company from being national entrepreneur run SME operations to a Nordic potentially Mid Corp venture. A 1st step has been to appoint a Nordic Financial Manager who will start her assignment at the end of May 2017.
To achieve this the owners and the newly formed board with non-executive members, have come to the conclusion that we need to strengthen the organisation and that we should begin with a new external CEO.
The board is looking for a CEO who can lead and build a profitable growth oriented company in accordance with the owner´s vision and core values (these are documented in an Owner´s Directive) as well as the board´s strategic decisions.
We want a person who can combine building a business on a solid foundation, but without losing the entrepreneurial touch and nerve of the business.
The company will most probably be operating in a number of business segments, customer segments and geographical markets but should still be a group where synergies are sought after and achieved, where the common culture of the employees is a combination of competiveness and colleagues. The organisation is to be built with the right skills, competence, experience and mix to be a successful Mid Corp company.
In this more complex business environment this will mean developing existing employees, adding new members with new skills and in some cases helping others whom the company has outgrown to move on to an environment that suits them better.
Today´s organisation can definitely be defined as lean and we wish to keep it this way but at the same time reducing the risk exposure of today with the company´s dependence of a few key employees.
In both Sweden and Norway, the founders will want to play an active role by putting to use their long experience and contacts with both suppliers and customers.
What is the desired profile of our new CEO?
For the right person, this could be a dream assignment involving forming their own team, building a growth business in a market which in itself offers great opportunities of growth.
We believe that our new CEO has a successful track record as a leader and CEO from fast-growing businesses. He or she should have experience from value driven enterprises that are owned and led by entrepreneurs or founders.
We don´t believe that an in-depth knowledge of the health and fitness business is vital, as the founders and members of the board have this know-how. However, we think our next leader should have a personal interest in health and exercise.
In short, we value the new CEO´s leadership and management skills more than their experience from our field of business.
The profile is more heavily weighted towards sales and marketing, rather than administration and finance. Stating this we still want a CEO who demonstrates cost awareness.
On the wish-list of experiences we seek are;
- Having expanded a company´s business from one to several Nordic countries.
- Having worked with a multichannel sales strategy.
- Having worked with North American and European brands.
- Having worked with companies that operate in the B2B and/or B2C.
- Experience of creating success with the limited resources of a SME and Mid Corp operation – in contrast to a large Blue Chip company.
- Having worked in what could be defined as a network economy where partnerships are important, in contrast to harbouring all required profiles on the company´s pay-roll.
As for personality, apart from strong leadership qualities, we believe that he or she has the ability to handle a large spread of issues that come with a diversified business. The ability to handle complex business environments and to take on and execute decisions taken with a degree of urgency and speed.
The new CEO is expected to have a capacity to a house in very good order parallel with not getting stuck in administration but instead focusing on implementing decided strategies and business plans. There is a need to maintain and build the in-house knowledge to be able to face the challenges that come with growing. This mean that the ability to create a learning organisation also demands pedagogical skills.
We expect our next CEO to have a good understanding of both financial accounts and a strategic ability often needed in our line of business.
We consider it a bonus if he or she has experience from mergers and/or acquisitions and from being an agent for international brands.
Our CEO will be responsible for the operations in both Sweden and Norway, which will mean travelling between the offices in Västerås, Oslo and Fredrikstad. There will also be travelling to our suppliers in the Asia, the US and Europe.
The home base can be either Västerås or the larger Oslo region.
The owners of the new company are determined to implement a corporate governance which will fertilize the company´s growth.
Be ensuring that issues that are to be referred to the ownership meeting also are handled and documented to the board of the company and the CEO, the owners will try to create a foundation for the board´s and the CEO´s work. Their will be expressed in an Owner´s Directive and by appointing external board members.
Within the frame-work of the decided Owner´s Directive the board of the company will be responsible for the Strategic Plan and the company´s Business Plan & Budget. After approved by the board next step is to monitor the plans implementation.
The CEO is expected to handle all aspects of the practical day-to-day operation of the business.
Applications and requests for more information can be sent to:
Satish Sen, chairman of the board,
by 31st August 2018 at the latest